Ethical Research Involving Children

Child’s objection to non-beneficial research: Capacity and distress based models.

Waligora, M., Różyńska, J., & Piasecki, J. (2016). Child’s objection to non-beneficial research: Capacity and distress based models. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy, 19(1), pp. 65-70.

Abstract: A child’s objection, refusal and dissent regarding participation in non-beneficial biomedical research must be respected, even when the parents or legal representatives have given their permission. There is, however, no consensus on the definition and criteria of a meaningful and valid child’s objection. The aim of this article is to clarify this issue. In the first part we describe the problems of a child’s assent in research. In the second part we distinguish and analyze two models of a child’s objection to research: the capacity-based model and the distress-based model. In the last part we present arguments for a broader and unified understanding of a child’s objection within regulations and practices. This will strengthen children’s rights and facilitate the entire process of assessment of research protocols. (Abstract © Springer, reproduced with permission).

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